Rethink and then Recycle Right

First, Rethink: 

Try Not to Need to Recycle at All!

Zero Waste Hierarchy

Think Twice About Recycling

Example of sorting "un-recyclable" plastics.

Second, Ask Questions: 

Contact Your Local Transfer Station or Recycling Center for Guidance

Disclaimer: Information and resources below are for particular areas of New Hampshire. Edit resources for your use.

from the Northeast Recovery Association

Centers for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM)

Beyond the Bin Resources

1. Newbury, VT SW Committee has just started a voluntary plastic separation program and accepts #3,#4,#5 plastics and has a relationship with a recycler in PA. Link to recycler -

2. Home Depot & Lowe's accept plant pots. It's worth a call to the local or even regional leadership to verify. HD & Lowe's have a relationship with East Jordan Plastics in Michigan who recycles them and returns them to the landscaping industry. They don't need to be washed, just free of dirt, plant tags, and staples. They are loaded onto pallets and held until EJP swings by on their NE route. Some plant tags are #5 & #6. 

3. Polystyrene recycling has recently begun in Gilford, NH at the Gilford Recycle Center. It also occurs at Gold Circuit in Palmer, MA and Save That Stuff in near Boston, MA. A movement is afoot with Casella, Hypertherm, and Dartmouth evaluating the installation of a facility somewhere in the Upper Valley.

5. Subaru has a relationship with Terracycle to recycle snack packaging.

6. Link to our local Recycling Guide - Use and Reuse!

Where Can I Recycle THAT?

Where can I recycle THAT?

A Handy Resource Guide for Local Recycling


Waste Free Upper Valley Resource Guide


Strafford Climate Action Links for Common Household Items

Researched & Compiled by Roger Barraby, a member of Living A Sustainable Lifestyle Tea & Talks, Pat McGovern, Waste Free Upper Valley and Susan Hodges of Strafford (VT) Climate Action

To Join Living A Sustainable Lifestyle Tea & Talks, contact Cindy Heath at

Or search google groups for:

Living A Sustainable Lifestyle: Tea & Talk

Rethinking Your Recycling & Personal Waste Disposal Practices

Sorting can take up lots of labor and time. Not every recycling center is equipped to handle zero-sort recycling. Make sure to check at your local facility.

Soiled or mixed items can cause a load to be rejected by the receiving partners. When that happens, your recycling center has to pay per ton for disposal plus additional trucking to go to another location. So, PLEASE help keep the cost down by doing your part.

How To Recycle Unusual Things

Most Recycling Facilities Will Take:

But What About…(click on title to learn more)

Soap, Shampoo, personal care

Rustic Strength

Delivers soaps to stores in reusable containers. 

Plaine Products 

(shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, and hand soap in reusable containers. You can refill from a bulk 5 gallon bucket at a store or buy it in an aluminum container. When you’re done with the aluminum container you can refill it at a store or ship it back to Plaine Products to be sanitized and reused. Worst case scenario aluminum is highly recyclable. 

Delivers Europe

Recycling Companies


Home Depot


White River Subaru


Textiles, household goods, furniture, sports equipment

UPS Store, West Lebanon

Accepts Clean Bubble Wrap for REUSE!

Best Buy

Used Electronics


Old Socks (with purchase)

West Lebanon Feed & Supply

Pet Food Bags

Omer & Bob’s & Stateline Sports

Used Athletic Shoes

Got Sneakers

Get paid to recycle athletic shoes

Tidewater Fiber

Tetra Pak Beverage Containers, ie. Broths, Soups, and Milk Cartons

NexTrex (Drop off bin across from Enfield Elementary School)

Crackly plastic

Marine Layer

T-shirt recycling and reuse program

Huskee Reusable Coffee Cup Program

Coffee cup reuse program

Reusable Solutions

Casella Waste Management

Deliver Zero (restaurant delivery in reusable containers in NYC )

Vokashi (compost pickup in NYC)

Plaine Products (Body Care Products in reusable containers)

Diaperkind (Reusable Cloth diaper service in NYC)

CupZero (Reusable cup service for bars, events, and cafes in NYC)


True Zero Waste Certification 

Loop (groceries in reusable containers)

Returnity (Custom designed reusable packaging)

GroupHug (Portable Ridiculously Good Looking Solar Panels)

Brooklyn Solarworks (Solar Installation)

BlocPower (Air Source Electric Heat Pumps)

Clean Choice Energy (Renewable Energy Credits)

Waste-Free Upper Valley 


Waste-Free Upper Valley is a grass-roots campaign to inspire individuals, event organizers, community institutions, and businesses to strive for sustainable, waste-free practices. To contribute your waste-free tip, contact Pat McGovern @

Food and Packaging

Grocery Stores -  Request paper bags & non waxed deli packaging; use the Bulk Foods Dept.

I.e. Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction, South Royalton Food Coop in South Royalton

Restaurants/cafes  - request non-styrofoam containers or BYO

Caterers - request waste free event practices

Farmers’ Markets and CSAs - BYO/return egg cartons

Food Truck Vendors - BYO take out containers

Schools - BYO water bottles, milk cartons

Hospitals - BYO ‘To Go’ containers to the cafeteria!

Meals on Wheels - work to use no-waste containers

LISTEN and Church Suppers - Provide re-usable take-out containers, compost food waste

Transform meetings and events to become Waste Free  

We need more events such as Lebanon's Full Moon Fiesta where people are expected to bring their own dinnerware

Our own gardens - canning, drying, freezing - reusing our own containers

Composting - work to make safe compost free of pesticides and other chemicals

Buying in bulk and bringing our own containers for flour, baking soda, baking powder, pasta, rice, dried beans, nuts, nut butters, sunflower and sesame seeds, snack mixes, coffee, tea, dried fruit, oatmeal, granola, falafel mix, olive oil, maple syrup, tamari, laundry detergent, etc.

* Bring Your Own Water Bottle

* Bring Your Own Travel Mug

* Bring Your Own Shopping Totes

*Forget the plastic snack bags! Make your own cloth bag, able to be washed after use.

* Refusing Straws, or bring your own metal/paper straw

* Returnable milk bottles

*Ditch microbeads! If the ingredients label on your beauty products or toiletries lists polyethylene or polypropylene, the item likely contains microbeads.

* Produce without packaging

*Go for the cone! No matter which flavor of ice cream you like, skip the dish! Eat that fresh waffle cone, or crunchy cake cup.

* Bar Soap and Bar Shampoo without packaging

*Build a better goodie bag. For birthday parties, fill cloth or paper goodie bags with homemade treats and crafts as opposed to cheap plastic toys.

* Poverty Lane Growlers for Cider!

* Reusable Eventware

Celebrating Successes

What You Can Do Now:

           incentives for bringing one's own mug/bag/water bottle such as

Reuse - Other kinds of Waste Reduction

*Cover - takes furniture and appliances

*Thrift and Consignment shops - take clothing, toys, small appliances,equipment

*Omer and Bob's Bike Consignment Sale 

*Repair Cafes - start one in your town with the local fix it experts

*Tool Library - encourage your library to start one

*Little Free Libraries and library free tables - plans available online

*Five-Colleges Book Sale - accepts books, DVDs, CDs

*Yard Sales including Hanover'/Dartmouth Community Yard Sale

*Bugbee Senior Center, 262 N. Main St, White River Junction, 802-295-9068 - accepts medical equipment and supplies (crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, etc):

*List serves and other online ways of giving, selling or buying second hand

*Bonnie Clac - donating cars for others to reuse

Reduce - Transportation

*Take fewer car trips or carpool

*Advance Transit, Upper Valley Rideshare, Lyft, Uber

* Do more walking/biking

These are all local solutions . . . with the money saved from REFUSE/REUSE, support those working on a State, National and Global level:

Zero Sort Centers

New Hampshire

Canaan Transfer Station - Tues. (2-6PM), Wed. (7-11AM), Thurs. (2-6PM), Fri. (7-11AM), Sat. (8AM-2PM)


Barnard Transfer Station - Wed. (4-8PM), Sat. (8AM-4PM)

Corinth Transfer Station & Backyard Composting - Sat. (8AM-1PM)

Groton & Ryegate Recycling Center - Fri. (3-6PM), sat. (8AM-12PM)

Norwich Transfer Station - Wed. & Sat. (8AM-4:45PM)

Tunbridge Transfer Station - Sat. (9AM-3PM), Wed. (4-7PM)

Sorting Centers

New Hampshire

Charlestown Transfer Station - Tues. (8AM-4:30PM), Wed. (1-6PM), Fri. (10AM-4:30PM), Sat. (8AM-4:30PM)

Claremont Transfer & Recycling Center - Tues. & Sat. (8AM-3:45PM) - plastics & metals allowed together

Cornish Recycling Center - Sat. (9AM-2PM)

Mount Trashmore in Grantham - Sun. (9AM-4PM), Mon. (8AM-12PM), Thurs. (8AM-4PM), Fri. (10AM-4PM), Sat. (8AM-4PM)

Lebanon Solid Waste & Recycling - Mon.-Fri. (8:30AM-5PM), Sat. (8:30AM-2PM)

Lyme Transfer Station - Sun. (8:30-11AM), Wed. (4-6PM)

New London Transfer Station - Tues., Wed., Thurs., Sat., Sun. (9AM-3:30PM)

Newbury Transfer Station - Mon. (9AM-1PM), Wed. (1-5PM), Sat. & Sun. (9AM-5PM)

Orford Transfer Station - Sat. (8-11AM)

Piermont Transfer Station - Sat. (10AM-2PM), Sun. (12-3PM), Wed. (5:30-7:30PM)

Sunapee Transfer Station - Sun. (8-11:45AM), Mon., Thurs., Fri., Sat. (8AM-4:15PM)

Unity Transfer Station - Wed. (1-5PM), Sat. (8AM-4PM)

Wilmot Transfer Station - Wed. & Sat. (8AM-4PM) - plastics, tin & aluminum allowed together


Bethel Royalton Solid Waste - Tues., Thurs, Fri., Sat. (7AM-1PM)

Chelsea Transfer Station - Sat. (8AM-3:45PM)

Fairlee Transfer Station - Sat. (8:30-11:30AM)

Hartford Solid Waste Transfer - Tues.-Sat. (8AM-3:45PM)

Strafford Recycling Center - Sat. (9AM-12PM)

Thetford Recycling Center - Sat. (8:30AM-12PM)

Vershire Transfer Station - Sat. (8AM-12PM)

Weathersfield Transfer Station - Wed. (12-5PM), Sat. (7AM-4PM), Sun. (12-4PM)

Windsor Fast Recycling Removal by Jeff’s Rubbish Removal - Wed. (4-6:30PM)

Home Pick up Options (all Zero Sort Recycling & Vermont locations)

Casella Waste Systems (Rutland headquarters)

Jeff’s Rubbish Removal -nFast Trash/Recyclables Wed. (4-6:30PM) in Windsor

A.B.L.E. Waste (Plymouth headquarters) - Fast Trash/Recyclables:

Bridgewater - Wed. (2-5PM), Sat. (8AM-1PM)

Hartland - Sat. (8AM-12PM)

Granville - 2nd & 4th Sat. (8-10AM)

Rochester - 1st & 3rd Sat. (8-11AM)

Stockbridge - 1st & 3rd Sat. (12-2PM)

Hancock - 2nd & 4th Sat. (11AM-1PM)

Links for Many Plastic-Free Household Items 

Strafford Climate Action 

For more information or to join, contact Susan Hodges at and visit our blog at

These are sources to start with, not endorsements of any particular brand or item. 

Many plastic free alternatives for bags and wraps: Many non-plastic household and  personal care items, including produce bags, silicone dish covers,  bar soaps, wooden & coconut scrubbing tools, etc. is an additional outlet. 

Reviews: friendly-food-storage-bags.html 

Make your own sisal or jute dish scrubber: 

Cloth Bags: Google this to find offers from Amazon to ebay. Or  make your own: 

Plastic wrap alternatives: Beeswax wraps. See and for  examples, or contact Susan at for  directions to make your own. 

Laundry detergent sheets – avoid plastic bottles and carbon costs of shipping liquids:  

Tru-Earth (Has other products also)  EarthBreeze laundry detergent eco-sheets 


Dishwashing soaps etc. : soap/ 

Bar Soaps and shampoo, also available at Coops in Hanover and  Lebanon, Liggett is a local brand, and see other links: original-formula-3-5-oz-99-g/5825 

Toilet paper: Toilet paper is not full of water, but most of it  comes wrapped in plastic, and if made of virgin paper, costs many  trees: “Every day, 27,000 trees are cut down just to make regular  toilet paper.” Who Gives a Crap toilet paper: All recycled paper, no plastic wraps.  Check out their website. They also have TP made from bamboo. Toilet Paper options and reviews: This  site also mentions other eco-friendly products for your bathroom,  including bamboo-based products. 

“Kleenex” alternatives: Purchase cloth handkerchiefs, or make  your own from used clothing or new fabric (preferably organic  cotton). More ideas: tissues/ and 

Clorox wipes: The convenience of Clorox disinfecting wipes can  be recreated at home. cheaper-greener-alternatives-to-clorox-wipes?utm_source=pocket newtab  

Trending Reuse Initiatives 

VT Can Carrier Reuse Program

​​Foam Alternatives

Compost in the Upper Valley

Curbside Pickup Services

We Recycle Food

Music Mountain Compost

Willow Tree Compost (mostly in WRJ and Hartford)

Home Composting Education

How to Recycle the Unrecyclable Tip #16

How to Recycle the Unrecyclable Tip #16

There is a growing awareness of the difficulty of recycling products we consume while living our daily lives - especially the many types of single use plastic (SUP) we encounter in the course of grocery shopping, furnishing our homes and offices, enjoying travel experiences, and acquiring the necessary clothing to stay warm in our winter climate and take to the outdoors in the other seasons.

Did you know that according to some research, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled? As consumers, we can ‘choose to refuse’ using and purchasing items wrapped in single use plastic. Here are some tips:

And there’s good news! While sometimes using SUP is unavoidable, there are places we can recycle certain types of plastic instead of throwing it away where it litters our landscapes, and leaches chemicals into our soil and water. 

So here is what we know so far about how to recycle two types of plastic - film & snack packaging:

Plastic Film - bread bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, produce bags, toilet paper, napkin, and paper towel wraps, furniture wrap, electronic wrap, plastic retail bags, deli bags, grocery bags, Ziploc® Bags), Tyvek (no glue, labels, other material), plastic shipping envelopes, bubble wrap, and air pillows (deflate/remove labels if possible), case wrap (e.g., snacks, water bottles). Recycle at Hannaford’s.

Snack Packaging - Disposable cups, lids, and straws; candy and snack wrappers; and coffee and creamer capsules. Recycle at Subaru dealerships - call first.

For more info on this option, here’s an article about the partnership between Terracycle & Subaru (LINK). Of course, think about refusing single use plastic when you can!


Trex Co: NexTrex Recycle info -

Drop off points in Southwest New Hampshire:


ACCEPTABLE: (All need to be clean and dry – with paper label or tape removed)

1)      Grocery Bags or retail store bags

2)      Bread bags

3)      Fruit/Veggie Produce bags (with no mesh)

4)      Paper towel/toilet paper overwrap

5)      Plastic Bottle overwrap

6)      Dry cleaning bags

7)      Newspaper sleeves

8)      Ziploc and other resealable food storage bags

9)      Air pillows 

10)   Bubble wrap

11)   Plastic shipping envelopes

12)   Furniture and Electronic wrap

13)   Ice bags

14)   Wood pellet bags

15)   Salt bags

16)   Plastic Cereal box liners

17)   Case wrap

18)   Any plastic bags/film labeled with a 2 (HDPE) or a 4 (LDPE)

19)   If packaging can stretch – it can be included

20)   If can’t remove label or tape, cut off label and tape and NexTrex the rest. It is not absolutely necessary to remove the label if it is difficult.



1)      Frozen Food bags

2)      Candy bar wrappers

3)      Chip bags

4)      Net or mesh produce bags

5)      Mulch or soil bags

6)      Hot dog or meat wrap packaging

7)      Six-pack rings

8)      Pre-washed salad bags

9)      PPE – gloves, masks, or protective wear

10)   Pool covers

11)   Lamination film

12)   Silage or hay bags

13)   Vinyl shower curtains or tablecloths

14)   Bedding or linen packaging

15)   Shiny, crinkly films like floral wrap

16)   Anything with a real zipper

17)   Any bag labeled degradable and compostable

18)   If it cannot stretch or it tears like paper – it can’t be included

19)   If it is shiny, metallic, or makes a crinkly/crunchy sound – it can’t be included


TerraCycle Partnership with Subaru